“Return To The Old Paths!"
INTRO.Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we have the privilege to reside in the United States of America! This is a nation founded upon God and His principles. Sadly enough, the U.S., as a Nation, is drifting farther and farther away from God. On our currency it says, "In God We Trust," yet even now that is in jeopardy!
America MUST TURN BACK to God or face the wrath of Almighty God! I'd like to title the message, "Return To The Old Paths!" When Our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and others, set about to form a Constitution for the new nation that had been born; that Constitution was written according to the principles of God and the Bible. But the Constitution has been so maligned, that it has lost the urgency for righteousness with which the Founding Fathers intended.
We have the freedom, according to the Constitution, to have free expression of our religious beliefs and convictions. Yet in 1962, the Supreme Court, in one of its damaging decisions, banned prayer in public school. Since that time, the number of school dropouts have risen, the number of teenage pregnancies have sky-rocketed, violence is an everyday occurrence, and our high school graduates know less than their parents did.
In 1978, the Ten Commandments, by another Supreme Court decision, were removed from our classrooms. One atheistic teacher in Florida is quoted as saying, "I'm glad they have been removed, I'd hate for a student to see them and feel obligated to obey them!" GOD HELP AMERICA!!
In our text, we see a prophecy is given to the nation of Israel by the prophet Jeremiah. The prophecy is a call back to God from idols to serve the living God. I want us to notice the parallels between Israel and America, and Why America MUST RETURN to God!
(1) AMERICA MUST RECEIVE GOD’S WORD AND KEEP IT
Text: Jeremiah 6:10-14
A. THE INQUIRY PRESENTED (v10a). “To whom shall I speak, and give
warning, that they may hear?” I want you to know that THE
CHURCH MUST HEAR! The psalmist said in Psalm 85:8—“I will hear
what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people,
and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” It is our
responsibility to hear and lift up a standard in this world!
ILLUS: Like spiritual salt, the Church of Christ preserves society from
the advance of moral decay. Where this salt is lacking, the
social environment becomes more and more like the
population of hell.
Many years ago, a young lawyer, an infidel, boasted that he
was going West to locate some place where there were no
churches, no Sunday schools, no Bibles. Before the year was
over, he wrote to a classmate. a young minister, begging him to
come out where he was and start a Sunday school and preach,
and "be sure to bring plenty of Bibles," closing his letter with
these words, "I have become convinced that a place without
Christians and Sundays and churches and Bibles is too much
like hell for any living man to stay in." –Echoes
B. THE INSOLENT PEOPLE (v10b). In the last part of v10 we read,
“Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold,
the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in
it.” This description of Israel in Jeremiah’s day could well be said of
our country today! Monetarily we are the richest nation on earth and
yet spiritually we are bankrupt! America is ripe for the judgment of
Almighty God! If there is any hope for America, the returning MUST
BEGIN with God's people (2 Chronicles 7:14).
(2) AMERICA MUST RETURN TO THE OLD PATHS
Text: Jeremiah 6:15-17
Joel 2:12-13—“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to
me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with
weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart,
and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your
God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and
of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
A. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LORD (vv. 15-16). The LORD gives
three exhortations and requirement so that judgment might be
1. “Stand ye in the ways and see” (v16a). The word "stand" here is
translated from a Hebrew word which means "to take a stand, to
stand still, firm, and to remain." Moses told the people in
Deuteronomy 32:1-7—“Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak;
and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop
as rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon
the tender herb, and as showers upon the grass. Because I will
publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a
God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have
corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they
are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the
LORD, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath
bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations:
ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell
thee.” If America is to advert the judgment of God they must
“Stand…in the ways and see,” but also let us note…
2. "Ask for the old paths" (v16b). The word “ask" here means "to
demand, to require and to seek." Matthew Henry said, “Oh that
men would be wise for their souls! Ask for the old paths; the way of
godliness and righteousness has always been the way God has
owned and blessed. Ask for the old paths set forth by the written
word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in it, you
will find abundant recompence at your journey’s end. But if men
will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed Refuge, it
will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they are ruined
because they reject God’s word.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise
3. "Walk therein" (v16c). The word “walk” here means "to go
forth in." Jesus said in John 12:35-36a—“yet a little while is the
light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come
upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he
he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be
the children of light…”. V17 says, “Also I set a watchman over
you…”. THE CHURCH MUST BE "THE WATCHMAN" (Ezekiel
B. THE RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE (vv. 16d, 17b). Their response
was not only with their lips, but by their lifestyle! Notice v15—“Were
they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were
not at all ashamed, neither could they blush..”. Sound familiar? It
sounds like many of the ungodly in American today!
(3) AMERICA MUST REALIZE JUDGMENT AWAITS DISOBEDIENCE
Text: Jeremiah 6:18-19
Jeremiah 4:4—“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away
the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and
inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like
fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the
evil of your doings.”
*WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO AMERICA? :
- REVIVAL (2 Chronicles 7:14--MUST START WITH US!)
- Ruin (Psalm 9:17).
CLOSING:The Church must be the salt and the light that God has called us
to be, IF there is any hope, at all for America! We MUST "Stand
in the Ways”, "Ask for the Old Paths”, and then, "Walk therein” !
The Church MUST WARN AMERICA! Isaiah 58:1 says, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."
WILL YOU HELP WARN AMERICA?